Thai Style Chicken Noodle Broth


I love this. Just love it. If there’s any leftover, it’s just as good reheated and served over cooked Jasmine rice as a curry. Happy days!

I guess I’ve had a love affair with the food of South Asia since I was in my very early teens. The first time I tried it was when my father took us to a Asian restaurant, just a few minutes away from where we were living, for my mother’s birthday. We started with a spicy, broth with pieces of dark chicken meat, slices of spring onion and lots of rice noodles. It was this broth that started this whole affair off.

After nearly thirteen years of looking for a broth recipe that was easy as pie crust to make, I think I’ve found it. The original recipe comes from one of the best cooking books that I think any budding chef/home cook should own, James Ramsden’s Small Adventures in Cooking.

In James’s version you have to use chilli, coriander stalks, ginger, garlic and lime zest, and also poach slices of fresh chicken breast in the broth; in my version, you use good Thai curry paste (which I only used because I was clearing out my fridge), and ready-roasted chicken, which I roasted a day earlier.

This is a very easy soup to make, which is ideal for the middle of the week when you’re tired from a long day trapped in some other universe; after work you just pop into a shop, pick up a few provisions, and you’re halfway to a good supper for two.

Thai Style Chicken Noodle Broth – adapted from Small Adventures in Cooking by James Ramsden

a little sunflower oil
2-3tbsp good Thai green curry paste
500ml chicken stock (you can use either homemade or good quality shop brought)
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
1 tbsp fish sauce (smells horrible this does, but it’s good for flavour)
2 roasted skinless and boneless chicken thighs, sliced
2-3 nests rice noodles
1 spring onion, finely sliced on the diagonal
a few coriander leaves, chopped (it doesn’t matter if you don’t have this)
lime juice

First of all, you heat up the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Once hot enough for you to hold your hand over it for a few seconds without any discomfort, add the curry paste, stirring to keep it on the move. You don’t want it to catch on the bottom. Once you can smell the aromas of the Thai paste, you add the stock, coconut milk and fish sauce and let it come up to a boil. Once boiling, you turn it down to a simmer and add the chicken. Leave the chicken to reheat, about five minutes.

Meanwhile, you prepare the noodles as per the pack instructions. When reconstituted, drain in a colander, and place in bowls. Ladle over the coconut broth and chicken. Scatter over the spring onion and coriander. Add a spritz of lime, and serve.

This is enough for two.


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